Illustrious Future: Academy Student Angela Dominguez’s Work Receives National Exposure
Angela Dominguez has always loved children’s book illustrations, but didn’t realize she could go to
school for it – until she heard about the School of Illustration at Academy of Art University. The
MFA Illustration student is in her last semester of school and is steadily making a name for
herself in the illustrator community. Recently published for the second time in
CMYK magazine, Angela is definitely a talent to watch in
years to come.
Three years ago, Angela attended the Illustration Academy, a program that brings together
some of America’s most accomplished and well-known illustrators to share their experience and
advice with students. The Illustration Academy is held all over the country, including a spring
break program at Academy of Art University.
At the Illustration Academy, she met recent Academy graduate
Andrea Wicklund whose work inspired her to leave everything
she knew behind and move to San Francisco to attend Academy of Art University. She moved in with
Andrea, who became her mentor.
“Her portfolio and her ability to draw was just phenomenal,” Angela recalled. “I had
researched many graduate programs and the Academy was the only school that really seemed to care to
teach their students to draw.”
She immersed herself in the MFA Illustration program, consistently working on projects while
growing as an artist. She especially developed her work under Bill Maughan, the Director of the
Illustration department. She found his classes both challenging and supportive.
“Bill Maughan was that teacher that always demanded more from me every time while encouraging
me to be more expressive,” she said. “Bill made me proud of the way I draw.”
Angela also learned the importance of entering competitions, particularly those sponsored by
CMYK magazine. For a small entry fee, student artists can
gain priceless national exposure from having their work featured in the magazine and seen by the
most influential creative professionals.
“It has definitely helped me with my credibility to art directors and more importantly with
my confidence,” said Angela of having work published. “I think it is difficult as a student to
imagine yourself as a professional with work that is worth being printed.”
The illustration that was recently published in
CMYK is part of Angela’s Directed Study project in which
she is envisioning what Barnes & Noble would look like if she was hired as the company
illustrator. The tree is an illustration/mural for a children’s reading area. Famous illustrator
Maxfield Parrish inspired this design.
“My concept was the idea of boy and girl perspectives of the same book,” she explained. “The
left side is very feminine with flowers and butterflies and the right side is more masculine with a
castle. In the middle is a tree that I’d like to believe is always the same – sort of a literal
Additionally, Angela has created a series of author portraits that would be featured in the
store and on the iconic Barnes & Noble tote bags. She chose this project because it relates to
her career goals for after graduation – doing commercial illustration for a company. Angela
believes that art doesn’t necessarily have to be hanging on the wall of a museum and that people
often take commercial art for granted.
“Art is for everyone and if looking at that [Barnes & Noble] bag can make one person
smile, then that’s pretty cool.”